Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Europe


Rewilding Europe is an initiative by WWF Netherlands, ARK Nature, Wild Wonders of Europe and Conservation Capital.

Rewilding Europe’s Vision

Rewilding Europe aims to rewild at least one million hectares of land by 2020, creating ten magnificent wildlife and wilderness areas of international quality, which will serve as inspirational examples of what can also be achieved elsewhere.

Rewilding Europe particularly focuses on turning the problems caused by the on-going, large scale land abandonment into opportunities for man and nature alike, providing a viable business case for wild nature in Europe. Several areas have the potential to become world-class wildlife tourism attractions, alongside the many other ways of reaping economic benefits from the wild. We will work hard to make this a reality.

Rewilding Europe is a new conservation vision for Europe, with wild nature and natural processes as key elements, where rewilding is applicable to any type of landscape or level of protection. Treating nature as something that is fully capable of taking care of itself, if given the opportunity to do so. This concept could become the main management principle for many natural areas in the future. Just let it be.

Rewilding Europe recognizes natural grazing as one of the key factors in maintaining open and half-open landscapes, upon which a large part of Europe’s biodiversity is dependant. Allowing our large native herbivores to return in significant, more natural numbers to the lands where they once belonged – bison, red deer, ibex, chamois, wild horse, moose, wild boar, wild reindeer and hopefully soon also the aurochs.

Rewilding Europe emphasises the joy and the value of wildness, and takes active part in a mass communication effort to stimulate a greater sense of pride in the wild and to spread a vision of a wilder continent. A Europe with much more wildlife than today, where this is also much more watchable and accessible to its citizens. A Europe with much larger areas of protected wilderness, vast areas of rewilded lands and reserves forming ecological corridors across the continent.

See, Rewilding Europe, Vision.

Guiding principles

To translate the vision into reality, Rewilding Europe has developed a number of guiding principles which will be applied at both the programme and project level. These guiding principles are based on what is rather common in private sector businesses which we have adapted to ”Planet, People, Prosperity”. These guiding principles could be nominated as the DNA of Rewilding Europe. The principles are described in more detail in a separate document, which is a ‘living document’ that will be updated and further detailed while gaining experience and learning during the coming years.

See, Rewilding Europe, Principles.